LCO gives audience night of delicious “cookies”

The Linfield Chamber Orchestra’s conductor Michael Gesme said he was once told that music was like cookies—different countries have different tastes, and he would bring the audience different kinds of cookies.

The LCO performed Sept. 16 in Ice Auditorium.

The program’s theme, “Remembrance and Revolution,” reflected the conductor’s aim for the night “to highlight different areas of music.” Gesme explained that he started selecting the first two songs by considering the humble size of the Chamber Orchestra and the involvement of a soprano, which led to the involvement of a harp. He then chose the following two pieces that brought huge contrast to the formers, giving the audience a mixture of experiences.

The night was opened with Le Tombeau de Couperin, followed by Pavane pour une infante defunte (Pavane for a dead princess), both composed by French composer Maurice Ravel. Then, Natalie Gunn, soprano and instructor at Linfield, accompanied the ensemble to perform Knoxville: Summer of 1915, Op. 24 by American composer Samuel Barber, which earned a standing ovation from the audience.

After a short break, Gesme shared his passion for the unpredictability of Ludwig van Beethoven, who he described as a chocolate chip that “gives a surprise for every bite.” The ensemble then performed the German composer’s Symphony No.1 in C Major, Op.21, which ended with another standing ovation from the entire auditorium.

“The LCO began practicing two weeks before the show,” senior cellist Donald DeFrang said. With such a limited practicing time, DeFrang thought the practice was efficient and the conductor made it enjoyable. Gesme praised the student players for doing an excellent job. He explained that the LCO was a place that provided them with the opportunity for professionalism and acted as a “mentor orchestra,” where he hoped that students could learn from the experience.

The show proved to be a great satisfaction to the audience, musicians and the conductor. As for the conductor, Gesme said that the show was great and the orchestra did a great job.

The only change he believed was needed was “for the audience to grow,” he said. “The lower seats could have been more full– though the upper seats almost were.”

The Linfield Orchestra will continue its season with programs “Past and Present” on Dec. 2, “Revelation and Interpretation” on Feb. 24 and “Reformation and Consolation” on May 4.

Cassie Wong/Staff writer
Cassie Wong can be reached at

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